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so-called "killer committee," to either pass bills or kill bills as the case needed, and we had a lot of fun times doing that, didn't we, john? okay, well anyway, it is now my real honor to introduce one of the real stalwarts in the u.s. senate. i'm honored to be here, senator tom coburn is the person i'm privileged to introduce. he and his wife carolyn have a great history in oklahoma for all of the accomplishments in their lives. of course one of the greatest would be their three children and six grandchildren. outside of that, mr. coburn and his wife are both graduates of oklahoma state university and i'm sure along with t. boone pickens they want to see a national championship come their way. senator coburn has a track record of a lot of wins in other areas. these wins would be found with his family, faith, business,
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formerly he was in the u.s. house, then the senate, and as a medical doctor. he's a man of integrity. people know that he is a man of his word, when he says he's going to do something, he does it. when he pledged he was going to be in the house for six years he lived up to that term limits pledge and i think he was the only republican to ever hold the seat up 'til that time in the previously democratic second district of oklahoma and then he was elected as we know to a term in the u.s. senate and was reelected. currently he's on the senate judiciary committee, homeland security and government affairs committee, and the committee on finance. he is a leader in the fight to uphold the true meaning of marriage, the dignity of human life, by protecting the unborn, second amendment rights, and incorporating responsible fiscal policy. outside of standing up for these important values, he has a great
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business track record. when he was the manufacturing manager for ophthalmology, correct me on that senate when you get up here, division of coburn industries his company grew from 13 to 350 employees and he's personally delivered 4,000 babies. so but most of all senator coburn is known as a true conservative. last near "the national journal" ranked him as the most conservative senator. his opposition to excess spending and more debt is well-known his commitment to smaller government is well-known, and his objections to those who propose government as the solution for any and all problems has earned him the title of dr. no. let's clap on that one. [ applause ] he is a staunch conservative
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standing on principle while finding real solutions to the problems we face. i hope to hear proposals of how conservatives in congress and we here in the public can go forward as we go forward now into the next years. ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor and privilege to present to you senator and dr. tom coburn. [ applause ] >> appreciate it, thank you. thank you. have a seat. well first of all it's a pleasure to be with you. i think it's entirely unfair, i'm going to get rid of this so somebody doesn't hit me with it. i think it's unfair to have to follow bill bennett. but i do have a lesson for him, and it's a true story, and he closed thinking about how we select supreme court nominees versus how the liberals do, and
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i have a story for you that would relate to that. it's a story about a father putting his daughter to bed and he gives her a drink of water, tucks her in, says her prayers and he goes back into his bedroom and about five minutes later, she says, "daddy, i need a drink of water." he said, "darling, you just had one, you're just trying to stay awake. go on and go to sleep." about ten minutes passed, "daddy, i need a drink of water." "hon, we've had this discussion. if you don't go to sleep i'm going to have to discipline you. please go on and go to sleep." so about five minutes past and she says "daddy, when you come to spank me, would you bring me a glass of water?" well, there's a moral to that story, and she was willing to sacrifice for what she believed in, even if it meant a spanking, and that's one of the rare qualities that america was built
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on, and yet we don't see displayed too often today. i'm going to speak for a short period of time. i always give a big speech and i always get off of it and don't stick with it and my best forte is to go back and forth with you all for questions so i'm going to allow most of the time to be about questions. it is a sincere honor to be with you. conservativeism isn't just best, it's right. it is a great solution in terms of how we combine what we know to be true by sacrificing some of ourselves as we interact with other people, and it couldn't be more important than in our elected leaders today and that's why i'm an avid believer in term limits. it gives you the freedom to do what you know is right regardless of the political consequences. that's why you send us there,
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not to do what's good for us, but to do what is good for our country. the problemdn't be borrowing 33 from the chinese. the problem is counter to what you hear in the national media in terms of us not being able to get along, and going back to what bill bennett said and what a hero of mine he is. what a stalwart. what an intellectual giant that he has been, and mentored for many of us in terms of not only understanding what our founders believed but also giving us the courage to stand on it. we have great threads to our existence today as a nation. and i would think in my opinion, greater than any threat we've ever faced, whether it's been
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our civil war or revolutionary war, whether it's been world war ii, whether it's been the depression, and that threat comes to us because we've spent the last 30 years in this country spending money that we did not have on things we did not absolutely need and the bill is due. if you look at generally accepted accounting principles, our government has liabilities in excess of $131 trillion, and nobody can put their hands around what $1 trillion is. and it's not just my word you should take for it, as joint chiefs of staff chairman mullens said, the greatest threat to america is not china. it's not islamic radical
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fundamentalism, it's not russia. it is our debt. and the painful thing for me every week in washington is to know that and to know it's true and yet not see the political class in our country address the very real problems in front of us. and there's a great lesson for it. i write about it in a book called "the debt bomb" that was just issued this april, where we see the natural tension for career politicians to put their career and what's in the best interests of their career ahead of what is in the best interests of our nation. sooner rather than later, there will come a point in time when the confidence in our country by
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those who were loaning this money will erode. we won't be able to control that time, but one thing we know is that when it comes, it will come quickly. it's a scary thought. we see greece. we see europe. you saw this week spain and italy. and you see problems of debt, de-leveraging, for which they have no answer and then we see what happened this week in terms of the security of the united states, in terms of our own finances, and what you realize is we're the best looking horse in the glue factory. we're the only rosebud that isn't starting to wilt, and so the comfort that we're experiencing today is really based on a relative comfort, based on how the world is viewed everywhere else but here.
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europe's troubles will give us a reprieve, but they won't solve our problems. that's why leadership is so important and let me step aside for a minute. all the republican candidates in the primary i knew, i knew them really, from newt gingrich to ron paul to tim pawlenty, to rick santorum, and as a conservative i endorsed mitt romney, and as a physician i want to tell you why. the problem in our country isn't that we don't have solutions. the problem in our country is that we don't have leadership, bold leadership that will teach and talk to the american public as adults and then lead on those principles, and if you go look at the life of mitt romney, at
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every juncture, at every intersection, at every challenge, in his life, and in his professional career, he has demonstrated the qualities of leadership that i want for my children and grandchildren. and i would just have you contrast that with what we have today in the white house. the other thing i would have you think about in terms of the problems in front of us is the contrast of where we are, like a college student that has five credit cards and now is trying to get the sixth one to be able to pay the interest on the other five, and guess what? the credit card isn't going to
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be available to us. solving the financial problems of our country, our debt and deficit, is paramount for us having the vibrant economy, and not doing anything is not an answer. not doing anything is a tax increase on everyone in this country. but more importantly, and i want to you see this the way i see it. i do town hall meetings that have anywhere from 800 to 1,500 people, all the way down to 50. when i ask seniors, are you willing to do hard things for your children and grandchildren that would renew the american growth and excitement and vibran vibrancy, every time they tell me yes.
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just so you have a picture of what it means if we don't, i want you to think about every 8-year-old and below in this country, shackled both at the ankles and at the wrists for their entire life. because what we're about to do in this country under this president's leadership or lack thereof is to create an environment where their opportunity, their standard of living and their liberty will be so constrained that they will never taste what we have known in terms of what is known as america. so i've dedicated my life in washington for the next four years to make sure that doesn't happen to your grandchildren and does not happen to mine. [ applause ]
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we have no problems in front of us that are insolvable. what we have is a problem with a career status quo that thinks about them the next election and places its priority in their own political career ahead of what is in the best interest of this count country. our founders understood that. one of the things that's not talked about much but was written about a lot at the founding was called the term rotation. only one of our significant founders didn't want to use rotation, i.e., term limits, as part of our founding documents. and they really didn't think it was very important because back then, who in the world would want to spend their life in washington, and the same today you have to ask that question.
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what would want to spend their life in washington? no one did, so where we see the problem as we saw this week with the supreme court is what our founders intended. they talked about a balance of power between banques but the greatest balance of power that they talked about was the balance of power of us holding the government accountable, all three branches, and that's why this election and what can happen with this election will be seen as either the beginning of a renewal of the american spirit or the acceptance that we will go the way of every other
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republican. let it not be so. let it not be so. how do we fix it? it's not hard. we have to be honest with ourselves about where we are. wave' made promises that will never be kept, in no way can they be kept. so the adult conversation that needs to be had are what are the problems and what are the possible solutions and the first thing is to get our country going again economically, and if any of you will recall the reagan years, you will recall a four-and a half year span where we had actual real gdp growth of 4.9%, 2.5 times what we're seeing today, creating 10 million to 15 million jobs a year. why was that? that's because they reformed the tax code. they took the abnormal incentives out of the tax code
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and they replaced it with the incentives that capital will flow where capital will be rewarded so broadening the base and lowering the rates will change what is lacking today, which is confidence and certainty. second thing, entitlement programs. my staff just finished working up 59% of the american house holds get over $2,500 a year from the federal government. let me repeat that. 59% of american households get over $2,500 a year from the federal government. are we past the tipping point? i don't think we are. and the reason i don't think we are is because of the history of who we are. america has done hard things. america knows how to do hard things. hard things are going to be
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required of us to solve the debt and deficit problems in front of us. what is lacking is courageous moral leadership to send us in the direction that we need to go. the final thing we need to do is to quit sending $300 billion a year out of this country for energy. [ applause ] i had a debate with that popular and renowned economist paul krugman, who wants to have another $800 billion borrowed and another $800 billion stimulus. there's now $2.6 trillion sitting on corporate balance sheets, that's about 1.7 trillion to 1.8 trillion more than normal and setting there because there's no confidence or
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certainty about the future. the best way to have that money invested is to create expectations and confidence about the future through our tax code, through our energy, and through our refinement of our entitlement programs. we can keep commitments to seniors, but we have to change how we do that, and that requires rigorous leadership, but it also requires honesty and an apolitical answer, when the political questions are asked. and i would put forward to you the stance that we can't ever have a tax increase puts us in a place where we're going to guarantee there's going to be a tax increase in this country, because it's called financial repression, and when all of the sudden your 401(k) or your i.r.a. or your son-in-law or your daughter graduating from college can't get a job, and the valuejob, and the
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value of that i.r.a. and that 401(k) can purchase a third of what it could before, that's a tax increase and that's what governments do by printing money like we're seeing the federal reserve do today. because ultimately, the price for printing that money will come back with a decline in the purchasing power of everything you have. it is the worst tax on everybody in this country and it's called inflation, and it will be with us. it will come screaming out of thin air and it will punish us like no other method of taxation. so we should resist that and we should do what we need to do to solve the problems in front of our country. i'll close with this. there's only two areas in our country where we do not let
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markets work. as americans, we have proven to the world that a free enterprise system, although not perfect, causes markets to allocate resources better than any other method. we spend $2.75 trillion a year on health care and we know $850 billion of it is wasted. $1 in $3 does nothing to help anybody get well and does nothing to help anybody prevent anybody from becoming sick. the answer is to reconnect payment with purchase in health care. affordable care act goes just exactly the opposite of that. finally, the other area where we don't trust markets is education. we spent $2.7 trillion since
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1970 and there's no parameter of education measured in this country that is better and many are worse. if in fact you want something to become affordable, you can guarantee if you ask the government to do that, it will make it more expensive. and that's exactly what's happened to college education and education across this country. i would leave you with the thought that this country is on the brink of a new beginning. with our energy reserves, we are going to see a manufacturing renaissance in this country like most of us have never experienced. if we're allowed to utilize it. america has more energy than china, saudi arabia and canada combined and yet we're the only country in the world where we as citizens own that energy and our
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government refuses to allow us to use it. that has to change. [ applause ] 2012 is important. to me it's a seminal moment for our country. we always hear elections are important, but we've seen the largest, strongest move towards collectivism but this administration than has ever before been seen in this country. and we can see the failure of the chief justice and in my opinion, a failure to fully understand and comprehend the founders' intent of a limited government. so the balance of power, if we're to change that, depends on us. it depends on you, we, the people. and they counted on us to
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control washington rather than washington to control us. it is time we do it. it is time for us to move. it is time for us to sacrifice in many ways to make sure we accomplish the fact that there's a president romney, that there is a large majority of republican conservative republican members of the senate and that the house is maintained by the republicans. if you want to save this country. now, usually with my speeches, i have prozac pills at the back as you exit. i'm not depressed about our country. i'm worried, i'm anxious, but you can change it and you do so by demanding the truth and you do the work to get the transparency to hold us accountable to the very
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standards, beliefs and morals that our founders initiated with the founding and birth of this country. i'll take any questions that you might have. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> we'll open it up. well, we'll open it up just like we did with bill bennett to senator coburn here. i'll take the liberty to ask the first question and then we've got microphones around here. senator coburn, you speak eloquently in your book "the debt bomb" about the immorality of debt. can you spend 30 seconds and just talk about debt, you talk about moral leadership and the lack thereof. what about the morality of debt? >> well, the morality of debt, corporate debt as a nation, is a form of thievery. think about it for a minute. when i went to the senate in
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2004, the average individual debt on our national debt was under $30,000. it's at almost $60,000 per man, woman, child. second point. if you have an adolescent in your household today, when they are my age, if we don't change things, they will owe, not counting interest, in excess of $1 million per person. that's what they'll be responsible for in terms of our accumulated debt and the compounding interest on it. there is a question to ask. i'm doing a big study on disability right now. is it moral to create dependency in individuals or is it a better option to nurture them to earn
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success and raise the lid so they can achieve their god-given abilities. if you really look at what we've done with many of our quote, social welfare programs, is we've taken away opportunity, god's gift to these individuals to excel in many ways, as we have undermined personal responsibility in our country. and that's why moral leadership, character-based leadership, is so important for our country in the next few years. >> very good. a follow-up question. can you buy your book on credit card, sir? i'm just kidding about that. that was a very poor joke. let's go to better questions and we've got the microphones set up here. go right ahead. >> thank you, senator coburn. i would like to find out how to address progressives who believe
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that health care is a right. thank you. >> well, let's -- let's expand it. if health care's a right, the right to have a home is a right. the right for me to have my watch is a right. in other words, what you have to do is carry that on. what is not a right? what our founders said is a right, is the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. there was no guarantee that you would have life. there was no guarantee that you would have happiness. there was no guarantee that you would have liberty. but what you were guaranteed was the right to pursue it. there's no question most people in our country feel compassion for those that need our help. bill bennett referenced it.
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we are the most charitable group of citizens of any country anywhere in the world. matter of fact, we're the most charitable group privately at heart from what we do in terms of our own aid. so the question comes what's next. and that's not our founding principles. the difference is to help somebody means to love them, which means you give of yourself. there can be no compassion in a government program because there's no sacrifice in a government program. >> let's go over here this time, please. >> senator coburn,

July 10, 2012 9:30am-10:00am EDT

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 22, Coburn 6, America 6, Washington 5, U.s. 3, Bill Bennett 2, Bennett 2, Oklahoma 2, Europe 2, China 2, Mullens 1, Mr. Coburn 1, Newt Gingrich 1, T. Boone Pickens 1, Carolyn 1, Forte 1, Oklahoma State University 1, United States 1, Dr. Tom Coburn 1, Tom Coburn 1
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